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“Awesome outdoor onsen, but very dirty” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Yamamizuki

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Yamamizuki
Certificate of Excellence
Malaysia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Awesome outdoor onsen, but very dirty”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2012

Awesome rotemburo (easily the most beautiful one I have seen) by the river and waterfall.
However, it was very very dirty and I could see tonnes of floating particles and we are not talking of leaves etc. only.
I wonder if the onsen is ever cleaned by the staff !
Probably very dirty because it is also opened to the public and Yamamizuki is one of the top outdoor public rotemburo in Kurokawa Onsen for its views.
The changing facility to the onsen was also very basic and cold considering the fact that it subzero outside.

The room was sizeable (got the cheapest room) but quite cold.
Staff was very helpful by giving me a 2nd room next door which had 2 air-conditioning units that also doubled up as a heater.
So we effectively had access to 2 rooms, which admittedly was very generous of the ryokan.
The ryokan was generally not very well heated and the common corridors were also very cold.
Dinner was mediocre but sufficient.

I probably will not stay here again, but will likely visit the outdoor onsen for its views despite it being very dirty.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank lifesucketh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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200 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
77 reviews
76 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 6, 2012

This is not the first Japanese ryokan I have been to, so I believe I can this rate properties based on a fair benchmark. In general, the ryokan market in Japanese is so competitive that the room pricing is extremely efficient. A 20000 yen per night / pp property is not going to be better than a 30000 yen per night / pp property from a Japanese person's point of view. And the key I want to emphasize is that the pricing is based on Japanese person's point of view. We paid 17850 per night / pp at Yamamizuki and I personally thought it was great value because

1) The outdoor onsens are spectacular in their setup (private yet all with a view)
2) The service was excellent (not every staff spoke English but they assigned a young lady who spoke some English at the dining room for us)
3) The property is classy and very traditional (not new, but well maintained)
4) The kaiseki cuisine was beautifully presented, yet it was not the top in taste (and I don't mean it in a negative way, really. It was decently yummy but the food was probably not Michelin 3-star)

So it depends how much you value the culinary aspect of your stay. If you think your palate is not refine enough to taste the difference between really good Japanese food vs above average Japanese food, then this ryokan presents good value (since the outdoor onsen is so spectacular), you'll get to experience an above-average ryokan with breaking the bank. In general, I find that one will need to pay at least 30000+ yen per night / pp for a very good onsen + very good food ryokan.

Do note the rooms in this property have adjoining toilets but no adjoining showers or baths. This is because in a traditional ryokan you are expected to take your bath at the communal area next to the onsen before you take a dip inside.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Sharka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bergerac, France
Level Contributor
782 reviews
159 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 418 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 26, 2012

On the edge of Kurokawa onsen, Yamamzuki is a beautiful traditional Japanese Onsen Ryokan at the top end. It is not cheap - 2 nights for 2 in a Japanese style room with a private hot spring "tub" was around $US 1200 BUT this includes five star dinners and breakfasts (Japanese style). Some english is spoken - particularly by the young serving staff who are all delightful. The onsen has both outdoor and indoor baths for men and women plus other facilities for women. There is no loger any mixed bathing. The outdoor baths, built from natural rock, overlook a stream and waterfall. Idyllic. A great experience.

Room Tip: I would go for a Japanese room with a private hot spring bath particularly if you haven't experi...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AJCG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2012

It was dusk, just before dinner, I was soaking alone in the hot water of the large stone ofuro, with the floor to ceiling sliding doors open to the stream and forest and waterfall vista. Suddenly I noticed a flutter of a large wing. A heron had landed on the bank by the water. He elegantly poked about, waded in the water, fished a bit, gazed into the space, fished some more and slowly walked on up the stream. Who could ask for more? The 13 course meals are sensual and aesthetic pleasures, as is each of the many indoor and outdoor pools and rotenburo. There was only one person at the inn that spoke any English, so don't go if you get frustrated by such things or if raw eggs or fish guts at breakfast disturb you. If you are like me and happen to enjoy a little language challenge and new taste sensations, this is the place. There is a little tea and coffee shop down one path that serves great cappuccino.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank bailingan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin
Level Contributor
72 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 15, 2010

This ryokan was not my first choice in Kurokawa Onsen, but was offered to me as an alternative when my first choice fell through. I booked this ryokan with JapaneseGuestHouses.com, as most of the ryokan do not have web-sites and those that do are in Japanese. With JapaneseGuestHouses.com, you choose some ryokan that you like, and they will get back to you (via e-mail) with availability and price options. However, after not hearing anything for a few days, I had to chase them and then because they work to Japanese times (and don't work weekends), it was tedious having to send an e-mail and wait till the next day for a reply. In hindsight, I think I should have just given the ryokan I wanted a ring myself, and try to book directly with them. Also, when I did eventually book it, their site recommended taking a taxi from Aso. However, because it is a fair distance (45min drive) I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a Taxi, so I took a bus from Aso Station to Kurokawa Onsen, and once there I was informed by the tourist office in the town that the ryokan ran a shuttle service, - so didn't need a taxi after all.

My initial impression of the ryokan was one of disappointment, as it was larger and more hotel-like than I expected. However, once we were shown to our room, we felt better. While being shown around our room, we were told how everything worked and the etiquette of using the onsen and getting dressed in our robes. Our room was huge (for Japan) with separate outdoor and indoor balconies. Although there is a bathroom with wash-basins, there is no bath or shower in the room. Also, the room had it's own coffee making machine, which made a good expresso.
At night, we had a meal in a separate (but private) room. The meal was lovely with fantastic presentation. It consisted of several courses. However, although each course wowed us, they were served too quickly. - one after the other. When we were finished eating and finishing off our drinks, we were told that they were closing and that we must leave and head back to our rooms (at 9pm)!!
Our price also included breakfast, but having fish, rice and miso soup again for breakfast was not to our taste.

Being able to avail of their open air hot onsen/pools, was a big plus with this ryokan. They also had indoor/covered ones. The staff were very friendly and helpful, though with limited English.
As I haven't tried the other ryokan in the area, I can't say how this compares. However, it was slightly cheaper, and the check in-&-out times more generous than others.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BrilloAido
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Yamamizuki

Property: Yamamizuki
Address: Kurokawaonsen, Aso-gun, Minamioguni-machi 869-2402, Kumamoto Prefecture
Phone Number:
Location: Japan > Kyushu-Okinawa > Kumamoto Prefecture > Aso-gun > Minamioguni-machi > Kurokawa Onsen
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 51 Hotels / Ryokan in Minamioguni-machi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hot SpringOutdoor Hot SpringsOur alluring outdoor hot springs, which provide you the luxury of being one with nature along side a beautiful natural mountain stream, lush with trees is an experience worth encountering. The sound of the water trickling through the mountains while soaking in the hot springs is such an enriching experience that you will never want it to end. Enjoy the splendor of “Yamamizuki,” a symbol that cherishes nature and comfort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Yamamizuki Japan/Kumamoto Prefecture - Minamioguni-Machi

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